Decision House

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Decision House TV Poster Image
Marital problems as entertainment? No, thanks.

Parents say

age 2+
Based on 4 reviews

Kids say

No reviews yetAdd your rating

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

The series focuses on people working on a wide range of problematic personal and marital issues, some of which are disturbing. The therapeutic exercises are packaged primarily to be entertaining for viewers.

Violence

Frequent yelling and arguing between spouses. Some of the therapeutic exercises encourage heated/strong exchanges to encourage communication. Some spouses have a history of domestic violence. Images of abused spouses are shown.

Sex

Regular discussion of issues like infidelity and intimacy problems.

Language

Words like "crap" and "hell" are audible; stronger language is bleeped out.

Consumerism

Some of the show's facilitators are featured on other TV shows, including Lynn Toler (Divorce Court) and psychologist Tara Fields (Intervention). Guest visitors include Dr. Phil.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Includes discussion of how drug and alcohol use has negatively impacted specific marriages.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that each episode of this voyeuristic reality series -- which revolves around couples on the brink of divorce -- includes scenes of the feuding couples yelling and arguing with each other and, at times, with the counselors who are trying to help them. The show goes on to air the couples' dirty laundry, which often includes disturbing problems like infidelity, drug use, and domestic violence (images of abused spouses are shown).

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bymicki762 April 9, 2008

I'm walking in Kiki's shoes

I tuned in half way through the show, and OMG!, I heard another woman saying the exact words to her man, that I've been saying to mine for years. Her husba... Continue reading
Adult Written byTee April 9, 2008

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

What's the story?

Hosted by Judge of Lynn Toler of Divorce Court, DECISION HOUSE aims to help couples on the brink of divorce decide to whether they're going to make their marriage work or end it altogether. In each episode, a couple in crisis is locked inside a house and videotaped for three days. During their voluntary 72-hour confinement, psychologists provide counseling and monitor their progress and the couple meets with mediators, financial planners, and, on occasion, family members. The couple also checks in periodically with Toler, who reminds them that at the end of their stay they must decide whether they're going to stay together or get a divorce.

Is it any good?

Insults, arguments, violence, and tears are all part of the drama as couples proceed to air their dirtiest laundry. Conversations about infidelity and lack of intimacy are frequent, but even more disturbing are the conversations about spousal abuse, some of which include graphic details and photographs.

The series is full of free-wheeling, talk show-style advice. But aside from offering viewers some limited advice about financial planning and divorce mediation, the show is nothing more than a Big Brother-like exercise in voyeurism that presents the pain of a failing marriage as fodder for reality TV.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about whether reality TV can go too far. Are there lines that shouldn't be crossed? Who determines where those lines fall? What is the appeal of a reality show like this one? Families can also discuss the difficulties associated with marriage and divorce. Why are some couples able to work out their problems while others end up divorced? How can couples who get divorced best handle the situation for their families?

TV details

Our editors recommend

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate